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Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – County Office For Aging Raises Awareness Locally


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Senator Webb Speaks regarding Elder abuse awareness. X101 Photo.

It was a sunny Friday morning on the steps of the Cortland County Office Building where the Cortland County Office for Aging held an event to raise awareness to residents within the county of elder abuse. Yesterday’s event hosted key speakers including New York Senator Lea Webb, Cortland County Legislative Chair Kevin Fitch, PsyD Cortland County Mental Health Director Karl Schmitt, City of Cortland Police Department Deputy Chief David Guerrera, and Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator, Kortney Wloch.

The message was clear overall, elder abuse happens everywhere, including here in Cortland County.

The day is observed on June 15th every year, first beginning in 2006. The day serves as a call to actions for local communities to raise awareness about abuse and to report abuse if seen or heard.

“Today we gathered to show support and remind people that Elder abuse takes many forms and isolated adults are at particular risk. Family, friends, caregivers and neighbors are vital to preventing, spotting and reporting abuse.”

The Cortland County Office for Aging said in a statement.

Senator Lea Webb spoke on the importance of ensuring creating a community that can notice if there is welling or barriers for older adults. She also noted the state senate has recently voted for the creation of an Elder Abuse Task Force, noting more still needs to be done to support the elderly population within communities.

Karl Schmitt gave two strong facts about older residents within Cortland County. He went on to say within the past 10 years, there has been a 50% increase in women between the ages of 65 and 74 now living in poverty. For men, the number is even higher at 70% of those ages 75 or older living in poverty within the county.

Members of the Cortland County Office For Aging. X101 Photo.

Schmitt continued on saying resources are available for those in need through the Cortland County Office for Aging and to reach out for your parents, grandparents, or an older adult you know that could benefit from the programs.

Numerous programs and support offerings are provided by the Cortland County Office for Aging. You can learn more about the resources designed specifically for Cortland County residents by visiting there website, HERE or by calling the office during normal business hours at 607-753-5060.

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